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Old 07-16-2004, 09:01 PM   #26
senshincenter
 
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Re: To block or not to block

Gareth, yeah I agree, sorry about the length. As I said, I was writing more for me - you know - trying to formulate thought long held, etc. Again - apologies.

d
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Old 07-16-2004, 09:53 PM   #27
kokyu
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Ai symbol Re: To block or not to block

Dear David,

Thank you for taking your time and sharing your thoughts with us. Your analysis was very interesting. I also agree that Yin-timed entries are easier (which is what I said in my first post), especially with the reason you gave about the difficulty of Yang-timed entries:
"This is all because of the high degree of body reading and short response time required by the tactic of entering while employing Target Availability."
(Interestingly, I believe I have seen some people perform Yang-timed entries for Shomenuchi Ikkyo Ura/Shomenuchi Ikkajo Osae Ni as well… but that is another story)

With respects to manipulation of training environments, at times, yes, things can become unrealistic. However, with respect to people learning Kihonwaza, it might not hurt to have an easier learning environment. It is when people are more familiar with the movements that we can start to employ more realism in the training. Although I am not experienced enough to comment on the realism of Doshu's clip, I must stress that such a clip is meant for people studying Kihonwaza. So, if things seem unrealistic, well… maybe it was meant for beginners to watch.

To sidetrack… although I am a shoshinsha, I think there are at least 2 sides to Aikido training… One side involves the cultivation of the individual… Even though the training environment may seem unrealistic, the fact that both partners try to harmonize (with uke yielding to nage) leads to positive effects on both nage and uke's characters -- hopefully, they become less aggressive and more willing to talk things out in real life. The other side of training involves the martial aspects of Aikido. Here, people focus on the realism of the attack and the defense. I think there should be a balance of both sides in training. I know some dojos tend to focus on one or the other… but that's fine with me too.

I hope we get a chance to meet on the mats some day.
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Old 07-16-2004, 10:27 PM   #28
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Re: To block or not to block

Soon-Kian,

Thank you for replying. I find myself agreeing with everything you said. To be sure, allowances must be made for learning curves - that is almost a tenet of real life training. There is no way around that. And, of course, as you say, there is more to all of this then just self-defense issues and/or mechanical advantages, etc. It is just my hope that we all do move beyond learning curve allowances - at least just enough to be honest always with our training environments (as best we can). And it is my hope that self-cultivation in Aikido always happens against a keen martial edge - at least for myself.

It would be my pleasure to meet you on the mat some day.

Thank you,
david
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:15 AM   #29
Ron Tisdale
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Re: To block or not to block

Excellent post David, and thanks for taking the time. I believe though that one level of confusion is shown here:

Quote:
In the same manner, Morihiro Saito's book and videos lend themselves to the same appeal. In his work, "Traditional Aikido, Volume 3," the relevant text reads, "This technique calls for you to initiate a strike before your partner's and whipping down his hand trying to parry the blow." The accompanying pictures clearly show one entering during the upswing of uke's shomenuchi.
This is clearly from the description shomenuchi ichi (omote), as are some of the other quotes I believe (I can confirm tonight possibly). The techinique under discussion from the original post was shomenuchi ni (ura) and I directed all of my comments (and quotes) to that. Other than that, I think we agree completely...when performing omote, enter as the strike goes up (pretty much always...I myself have great trouble doing it any other way), when performing ura, you don't always have the choice, so the methods I mention have their place.

As always, great discussion, and I enjoy the precision of your language, even with the length...

Best,
Ron

PS Gareth, Kondo Sensei says much the same as to not blocking a katana with your arm

Ron Tisdale
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Old 07-19-2004, 11:01 AM   #30
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Re: To block or not to block

Hi Ron,

Thank you for replying,

As I had imagined, I thought we were working off different assumptions here. Thanks for clearing that up. The mix-up comes from my own lineage, which is not of Yoshinkan decent, where we do not break up these versions according to the terms of "omote" and "ura." Therefore, I was going off the video clip that the original poster also provided for our general viewing - as far as addressing a single version. In that clip, we see the same version of the technique that M. Saito is doing in the source I cited. The same thing goes for the other sources I mentioned. All of these things are the same. Only the timing of the entry is different - as was noted.

The other two versions of Irimi Nage in M. Saito's book, which may or may not be close to either the "omote" or "ura" versions from the Yonshinkan curriculum, are quite different from what Moriteru Ueshiba is doing on the video clip provided above. Hence, I did not mention them. However, even in them, one can see the same science, the same biomechanics at work, as they too are both examples of one trying to reconcile the yang portion of the shomenuchi in an "aiki" manner (using my definition of the word, offered above) - which is one quite different from blocking (feeling uke's power) and/or parrying (feeling uke's speed).

Yes, I agree fully - all of the versions mentioned throughout this thread have a tactical place. In my opinion, none of them can or should be rejected. Even the full-on block version - directly under the attacking arm - has its place. Though clearly not employing "aiki" (as I have defined it), if a strike is inherently weak (i.e. thrown unarmed, without proper form, and containing no spirit or only a lesser spirit, etc.), opting to parry it and/or to blend with it, is to deny the "suki" (trans. opening) which is at the very heart of the shomenuchi in question. In a way then, in choosing not to block in such a case, one is opting to employ Target Creation over Target Availability - even if one is employing yin-timed entries. The opening has already presented itself. It was born in the training and the development of the attacker him/herself.

For me, the principle of irimi means (among other things) that we should try to capitalize upon the first presented opening as best we can, as soon as we can. That means, in the case of a weak strike, if I can, I am going around nothing at all. The straighter the better, the closer the better, the more uke is into his/her strike the better (keeps everything close). There is no need to go around the arm at all - one should opt to take it with him/her by going straight into it. There can be no "against" in what is sure to falter once it meets a greater force. As long as this hole is there in the strike, blocking and going straight in becomes the optimum choice, I feel, out of all of the versions we have discussed thus far. So yes, I fully agree with your position, all things have their place indeed. Aiki (as I defined it) is only one tactic out of many.

Thank you again,
david
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Old 07-19-2004, 12:38 PM   #31
Ron Tisdale
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Re: To block or not to block

Quote:
The other two versions of Irimi Nage in M. Saito's book, which may or may not be close to either the "omote" or "ura" versions from the Yonshinkan curriculum,
Oops, my bad, I've somehow given the wrong impression...

Ichi / Ni is from the Yoshinkan nomenclature

Omote/Ura is from the Aikikai nomenclature

Sorry,

Ron (thanks for the reply)

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